Mobile footprinting: linking individual distinctiveness in mobility patterns to mood, sleep, and brain functional connectivity


Mapping individual differences in behavior is fundamental to personalized neuroscience, but quantifying complex behavior in real world settings remains a challenge. While mobility patterns captured by smartphones have increasingly been linked to a range of psychiatric symptoms, existing research has not specifically examined whether individuals have person-specific mobility patterns. We collected over 3000 days of mobility data from a sample of 41 adolescents and young adults (age 17–30 years, 28 female) with affective instability. We extracted summary mobility metrics from GPS and accelerometer data and used their covariance structures to identify individuals and calculated the individual identification accuracy—i.e., their “footprint distinctiveness”. 

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